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Hierve el Agua

Oaxaca

One of the most spectacular natural treasures in the state is located 70 kilometers from the city of Oaxaca: the petrified waterfalls of Hierve el Agua, nestled between the mountains of the Sierra Mixe and the Oaxacan Sierra Norte.

Petrified waterfalls are created over the course of thousands of years, by water with a high mineral content (mainly calcium carbonate). When the water gushes out and comes into contact with the air, it becomes calcified, which makes it look like a dripping candle. There is only one other place that boasts such a phenomenon: a series of tiered pools in Pamukale, Turkey, which give the impression of being covered in snow.

The most popular waterfall in Hierve el Agua is called El Anfiteatro (The Amphitheater). It is 60 meters (197 feet) tall and is shaped diagonally, which has allowed natural pools to form. One such pool is an infinity pool on the edge of a ravine. Although Hierve el Agua means “water boils” in Spanish, rest assured that that is not the case; the water is quite cool. Swimming is discouraged in order to prevent pollution.

The best time to visit the waterfalls is from November to January, when the waterfalls are in full force. The best time of day to visit them is as early as possible in the morning. The site is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Hierve el Agua is about an hour and a half away from the city of Oaxaca and accessible through public transit.

One of the most spectacular natural treasures in the state is located 70 kilometers from the city of Oaxaca: the petrified waterfalls of Hierve el Agua, nestled between the mountains of the Sierra Mixe and the Oaxacan Sierra Norte.

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Petrified waterfalls are created over the course of thousands of years, by water with a high mineral content (mainly calcium carbonate). When the water gushes out and comes into contact with the air, it becomes calcified, which makes it look like a dripping candle. There is only one other place that boasts such a phenomenon: a series of tiered pools in Pamukale, Turkey, which give the impression of being covered in snow.

The most popular waterfall in Hierve el Agua is called El Anfiteatro (The Amphitheater). It is 60 meters (197 feet) tall and is shaped diagonally, which has allowed natural pools to form. One such pool is an infinity pool on the edge of a ravine. Although Hierve el Agua means “water boils” in Spanish, rest assured that that is not the case; the water is quite cool. Swimming is discouraged in order to prevent pollution.

The best time to visit the waterfalls is from November to January, when the waterfalls are in full force. The best time of day to visit them is as early as possible in the morning. The site is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Hierve el Agua is about an hour and a half away from the city of Oaxaca and accessible through public transit.

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